Audio

Fun outside on election day

Eric Liu, founder of Citizen University, tells us why citizens are more powerful than they think and how he's trying to reinvigorate the culture of voting — by making it more fun.

Consider that the average American voter doesn't understand basic political facts like who their local representatives are. Should they still be allowed to vote? Philosopher Jason Brennan makes the case for an epistocracy: the rule of the knowledgeable.

Targeted person

Cathy O'Neil, data scientist and author of the blog mathbabe.org, warns that politicians are perilously close to being able to tell voters only what they want to hear.

hiding in yellow mist

Storytelling is all the rage these days — and everyone seems to have a life narrative. But not philosopher Galen Strawson. He says life stories often create an inauthentic version of ourselves.

reading a story

Can a better life story make you happier? Psychologist Tim Wilson thinks so, and he describes a technique he calls "story-editing" to create a more hopeful and meaningful life narrative.

Patti Smith

Legendary poet and singer Patti Smith has two selves. On stage, she revels in collaborating with the people around her and creating a memorable performance. But she reveals a very different self in her memoir "M Train." 

an hourglass

We all think about time but probably not as deeply as the groundbreaking theoretical physicist Lee Smolin. Smolin has created a radical new view of the nature of time and the cosmos. He lays it out in a book called "Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe."

Stopping the clock

Maybe time has its origins in grief and longing for people we've lost. That idea certainly resonates with theoretical physicist Ron Mallett. He's spent a lot of his career studying time — which he traces back to the tragedy that marked his childhood.

Groundhog

Groundhog Day co-writer Danny Rubin talks about writing the story and the film's enduring impact.

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